Amazon DynamoDB
Developer Guide (API Version 2012-08-10)

Using the CLI

You can use the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) to control multiple AWS services from the command line and automate them through scripts. You can use the AWS CLI for ad hoc operations, such as creating a table. You can also use it to embed DynamoDB operations within utility scripts.

Before you can use the AWS CLI with DynamoDB, you must get an access key ID and secret access key. For more information, see Getting an AWS Access Key.

For a complete listing of all the commands available for DynamoDB in the AWS CLI, go to

Downloading and Configuring the AWS CLI

The AWS CLI is available at It runs on Windows, macOS, or Linux. After you download the AWS CLI, follow these steps to install and configure it:

  1. Go to the AWS Command Line Interface User Guide.

  2. Follow the instructions for Installing the AWS CLI and Configuring the AWS CLI.

Using the AWS CLI with DynamoDB

The command line format consists of a DynamoDB operation name, followed by the parameters for that operation. The AWS CLI supports a shorthand syntax for the parameter values, as well as JSON.

For example, the following command creates a table named Music. The partition key is Artist, and the sort key is SongTitle. (For easier readability, long commands in this section are broken into separate lines.)

aws dynamodb create-table \ --table-name Music \ --attribute-definitions \ AttributeName=Artist,AttributeType=S \ AttributeName=SongTitle,AttributeType=S \ --key-schema AttributeName=Artist,KeyType=HASH AttributeName=SongTitle,KeyType=RANGE \ --provisioned-throughput ReadCapacityUnits=1,WriteCapacityUnits=1

The following commands add new items to the table. These examples use a combination of shorthand syntax and JSON.

aws dynamodb put-item \ --table-name Music \ --item \ '{"Artist": {"S": "No One You Know"}, "SongTitle": {"S": "Call Me Today"}, "AlbumTitle": {"S": "Somewhat Famous"}}' \ --return-consumed-capacity TOTAL aws dynamodb put-item \ --table-name Music \ --item '{ \ "Artist": {"S": "Acme Band"}, \ "SongTitle": {"S": "Happy Day"}, \ "AlbumTitle": {"S": "Songs About Life"} }' \ --return-consumed-capacity TOTAL

On the command line, it can be difficult to compose valid JSON. However, the AWS CLI can read JSON files. For example, consider the following JSON snippet, which is stored in a file named key-conditions.json:

{ "Artist": { "AttributeValueList": [ { "S": "No One You Know" } ], "ComparisonOperator": "EQ" }, "SongTitle": { "AttributeValueList": [ { "S": "Call Me Today" } ], "ComparisonOperator": "EQ" } }

You can now issue a Query request using the AWS CLI. In this example, the contents of the key-conditions.json file are used for the --key-conditions parameter:

aws dynamodb query --table-name Music --key-conditions file://key-conditions.json

Using the AWS CLI with Downloadable DynamoDB

The AWS CLI can also interact with DynamoDB (Downloadable Version) that runs on your computer. To enable this, add the following parameter to each command:

--endpoint-url http://localhost:8000

Here is an example that uses the AWS CLI to list the tables in a local database:

aws dynamodb list-tables --endpoint-url http://localhost:8000

If DynamoDB is using a port number other than the default (8000), modify the --endpoint-url value accordingly.


The AWS CLI can't use the downloadable version of DynamoDB as a default endpoint. Therefore, you must specify --endpoint-url with each command.